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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses both the incursion of satiric strains into the sentimental novel and the sentimentalization of satiric objects, focusing on the capacity of each mode to grapple with broader historical currents (burgeoning commerce, urbanization, imperial expansion, and the blossoming discourses of humanitarianism and human rights). The author argues that mixture of satiric and sentimental modes exposes the tensions between the ideals exalted in the texts (both satiric and sentimental) and the material facts that novelistic realism emphasizes, while the shifts in register between satire and sentimentality mark out the difficulty of creating substantial change—correcting vice and fostering virtue—in an increasingly complex political, social, and economic world.

Keywords: satire, sentimentality, sensibility, novel, Sarah Fielding, Henry Mackenzie, Oliver Goldsmith, Laurence Sterne, Tobias Smollett, Frances Burney

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